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Preparations underway for 14th Annual Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition

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Texas Border Business – 

Brownsville, Texas – March 17, 2015 – State, national and international acoustic guitar artists and students will convene at The University of Texas at Brownsville for the 14th Annual Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition from Thursday, March 26 through Saturday, March 28.

“Student guitar ensembles from across the country prepare for and save up all year to journey to Brownsville for this unique event,” said Dr. Michael Quantz, Professor, Associate Music Department Chair and the creator and director of the festival. “This year, we are especially excited to have the first university ensemble from Mexico City slated to perform in the competition.”

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The festival is designed for a wide range of ages, encompassing guitar students from elementary school through college and university students.

“The programming includes the guitar ensemble competition over three days, workshops with teachers and clinicians who share their expertise and evening concerts,” Quantz said.

The Friday evening performance will be given by Mobius Trio, comprised of three guitarists from the San Francisco Conservatory – Robert Nance, Mason Fish and Matt Linder.

“Mobius represents a new generation of classically trained musicians who want to make a special imprint on their music,” Quantz said. “They challenge composers to write new music especially for them, music that tends not to fit expectations or stylistic limitations usually associated with nylon string guitar groups. I saw Mobius play in Los Angeles last summer, and I was struck by the contrast of how very young they looked on stage with how incredibly expressive and mature their music was.”

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The Saturday evening concert features guitarist Anton Baranov from Russia. Baranov has placed first in every major solo guitar competition, including the Guitar Foundation of America International Artist Competition which awards the prize of a 50-concert tour across the Americas.

All of the guest artists will share their expertise with students during the festival master classes.

Classical guitarist Dr. Joseph Williams II, a member of the acclaimed Texas Guitar Quartet, will give an afternoon concert and clinic from 3–4:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 where he will discuss his original music written for the guitar. A celebrated performer, composer and educator, Williams performs at music festivals, universities and concert series nationally and abroad.

Other members of the Texas Guitar Quartet will make a special appearance during Williams’ program. The quartet’s recent performance of Williams’ original score to Alfred Hitchcock’s silent film, “The Lodger,” was a sold-out concert series in Austin.

The UTB guitarists will kick off the festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 in the Arts Center. The students, including those in the One O’Clock Guitar Ensemble who toured Austria last summer, have been invited to perform in a feature concert at the Guitar Foundation of America’s June convention in Oklahoma City. All of the UTB guitarists have been invited to play at the National Flute Association convention in Washington, D.C., this August as part of UTB’s unique flute and guitar group, Flautarra.

The Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition daytime clinics, competitions and master classes are free and open to the public. Tickets for the evening concerts can be purchased at the door or in advance.

For more information, call the UTB Patron of the Arts office at 956-882-7025

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